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Ashley Iaconetti Addresses Theory She and Nick Viall Influenced Maria Georgas’ ‘Bachelor’ Edit

Ashley Iaconetti Shuts Down Maria Georgas Theory She and Nick Viall Influenced Her Bachelor Edit
Ashley Iaconetti, Maria Georgas, and Nick Viall Leon Bennett/WireImage;Courtesy of Maria Georgas/Instagram;Monica Schipper/Getty Images(2)

Ashley Iaconetti is clearing the air surrounding Maria Georgas’ “strange theory” about Maria’s edit on season 28 of The Bachelor.

“She has this conspiracy theory that Nick [Viall] and I got together with Sydney [Gordon], we brought Sydney to production and were like, ‘Hey, this is our friend Sydney. She’d be great to take down the villain, or something, of this season,’” Ashley, 36, explained on the Wednesday, May 1, episode of her and Ben Higgins“Almost Famous” podcast.

Noting that she “didn’t even know who Maria was” before Maria appeared on Joey Graziadei’s Bachelor season, Ashely said the basis of Maria’s theory is that she, Nick, 43, and Sydney, 28, were photographed together at a September 2022 book signing.

“We took Nick and [his wife] Natalie [Joy] to [Sydney’s] vintage store in Newport, may have taken a picture there. Who knows, but that was it,” she added.

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Ashely, who was friends with Sydney before she joined Bachelor Nation, told listeners that “Nick and Sydney had not spoken, have not spoken since this event in September 2022,” adding, “He has absolutely no relationship with Sydney.”

Maria shared her theory during an appearance on Wednesday’s episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, revealing that she and Nick have known each other since around 2017 and that he speculated she would become a Bachelor “villain” if she joined the franchise.

“So, in her conspiracy, he wanted to make sure she was the villain and then hired this girl, Sydney, for the producers to bring her down,” Ashley stated on her podcast. “It’s not an accurate theory whatsoever. Nick does not know Sydney. In fact, Nick thought Sydney was absolutely ridiculous on the show and called me to talk about how she is in real life.”

Ashley Iaconetti Shuts Down Maria Georgas Theory She and Nick Viall Influenced Her Bachelor Edit
Sydney Gordon and Maria Georgas Disney/John Fleenor

Maria and Sydney were at the center of The Bachelor season 28 drama after Sydney accused Maria of downplaying fellow contestant Madina Alam’s insecurities about being the oldest woman in the house. Despite Maria apologizing for her comments, Sydney continued to accuse her of verbal abuse and causing drama among the contestants.

As Ben, 35, pointed out, it was Sydney who ended up becoming the season’s villain, stating, “Maria, kind of, has shined and taken off from this experience.” (Sydney was ultimately eliminated by Joey, 28, during a two-on-one date with Maria in Malta.)

Poking fun at Ashley’s rumored involvement in the drama, Ben joked that he thinks she would be “pretty good” at creating a conspiracy. “You could really think it through,” he stated. “You’re a gamer, and this one was not thought through.”

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While Ashley considers herself a “mastermind” when it comes to drama, she reminded listeners that the show’s producers are the ones pulling the strings. “They get paid to actually be masterminds,” Ben added. “They get paid big bucks for it.”

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During her “Call Her Daddy” interview, Maria revealed that a scene of herself and Sydney making amends was never aired on the show. “We hugged it out. We were good,” she told host Alex Cooper. “Later on that night is when she was like, ‘I feel bullied by you.’ You hugged me earlier that day. … It was crazy. But again, because I know she is a good person, deep down, I think that again, in this environment, it just brought out the worst.”

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